"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom

Toilet Purchase Tips
The toilet is the most important fixture in any bathroom -  it is used most often.  Many people feel that a "cheap" toilet is just as good as the more expensive models.  This is not true.  I am not suggesting that the fancy one-piece models or the exotic color toilets be used, but a good quality name brand toilet is the best. 

First and most important, the toilet should have a 3" flush valve (the hole in the tank) which will allow the water from the tank to enter the bowl quickly for a good fast flush.   Many of the old style and lower quality toilets still use the smaller flush valves that are not satisfactory.

Keep in mind that the 1.6 gallon per flush (GPF) toilets are used in most parts of the country; however, in some areas the 1.28 GPF toilet is requiredIn the near future, the 1.28 GPF will be required in the entire country.  I have had misgivings about the 1.28 GPF model; however, have decided to install a name brand unit and it works very well.  Very well means I can put 6 sheets of standard kitchen paper towels in the bowl and there is not a flushing problem . . . keep in mind that I'm talking about a quality toilet.  A quality toilet is engineered to use less water efficiently because the ceramic glaze in the bowl is a high quality "smooth" surface which allows the water and solid contents to slide quickly without getting caught on the surface - a cheap toilet has inferior glazing with a rougher surface.  The difference in glazing is hard to see, but the performance/ease of cleaning is clearly different.

Toilets also consume a great amount of water which in many parts of the country is metered.  Thus, a quality toilet will save on water bills (in addition to water conservation) and may also save on the cost of the sewer charges (in areas where there are sewer charges).  

Toilets come in different heights.  The most common is the standard height toilet (the one
that's been around for a long time) and the newer "Universal height" toilet (which is higher
and the one most manufacturers are making nowadays).  Most people are installing the
higher toilets - they're easier on the back, knees, etc.  Also, toilet bowls are made either
round or elongated.  Most of the higher toilets are made with elongated bowls.  It's a
personal preference which one to buy, except if you have a very small bathroom. 
Elongated bowls will stick out about 2" more than a round front.

Toilet seats, like toilets, come in many styles and quality levels.  I suggest a good quality "slow" closing seat which will not slam and potentially make a disturbing or embarrassing noise.  Also, keep ease of cleaning in mind.  The smoother the materials and the less "nooks and crannies", the easier it'll be to clean.

Finally, for persons with health issues, many manufacturers have paperless toilet seats which allow the user to maintain their dignity without assistance in personal hygiene functions.  These seats may be remote controlled with wall panels that allow the seat to provide a gently

aerated warm water spray with a warm air drying action.  Anyone with a bad back, arthritis or
other health issues will appreciate this type of seat.